Skip to main content

The gift

How much is a fair day's wage? I sometimes watch these shows depicting how life was in the earlier days, when men and women plowed fields, laid up stores from their gardens, and raise livestock to support their families. Some were laborers in the fields, others worked at 'trades' such as carpentry, stone mason, or storekeeper. Yet, one common theme seemed to emerge - the day's wage. It wasn't much, but it usually helped with the bare necessities - such as new shoes when the soles of the present ones had worn thin. The day's wage was well-earned by the sweat of one's brow and heavy lifting of one's back. The worker did a good job and he earned his wages - he deserved his pay. It wasn't a gift to him - it was hard-earned. There is one thing we can never earn - that which is given as a gift. A gift is something given from a heart that knows the specific need and desire of another.

If you’re a hard worker and do a good job, you deserve your pay; we don’t call your wages a gift. But if you see that the job is too big for you, that it’s something only God can do, and you trust him to do it—you could never do it for yourself no matter how hard and long you worked—well, that trusting-him-to-do-it is what gets you set right with God, by God. Sheer gift. (Romans 4:4-5 MSG)

There are just some jobs too big for me to do anymore. I don't do well with lots of heavy labor any longer - although I sometimes forget this fact! I have found I must hire these tasks out to others - not because I couldn't do them, but because I am not as young or as strong as I used to be! There is one task too big for any of us - that of making our hearts right with God. This is only done via a gift - the gift of the cross. This is the season of gift-giving. Many will take great care to listen to what others share about what they would like, how they have yearned for a particular thing, and then they will ensure that object of one's yearning is wrapped carefully and put under the tree for Christmas morn. One such gift is available - but it doesn't need to be unwrapped one day of the year! It is available to use year round!

We could never find this gift in a store, nor could we fashion it with out own hands. It is impossible for us to make right our own hearts - we do not possess the right stuff to 'put right again' the gap between us and our heavenly Father. There is but one way to be made right - and it is sheer benevolence that makes us right. The benevolence of our heavenly Father makes the gift possible - the obedience and love of his Son 'paid' for the gift. No 'cost' too great where it concerns our hearts! The love of our heavenly Father overrides all human reasoning. His love embraces those who refused to embrace him. His grace-filled love 'paid' the price to purchase for us what we could never earn by even our best of toiling!

We shall celebrate with friends and family all over the world this Christmas season with gifts of all kinds. Let us never forget the gift that need not wait until Christmas morn to fill our hearts and settle our minds. Let us open it up, try it on, and see just how well it 'fits' our soul! The gift we could never earn is a most well-fitting gift indeed! Just sayin!

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Getting at the heart of it all

Have you ever seen someone so good with their skinning knife they can just peel away the hide of an animal without a rip or tear, no waste of any of the meat just below that skin? I have seen some fishermen able to fillet their catch with such skill not even one bone is found in the fillet. How do they learn this skill? I think it comes to them through practice and with the employment of the right 'tool' to do the job at hand. There is comfort in knowing that God means what he says and his Word will come to pass. His Word is like the scalpel in the skilled hands of a surgeon or the knife in the hands of the skilled hunter. As a nurse, I have seen the skillful use of the scalpel - dissecting away the finest of tissue to protect the healthy tissue and to expose the tissue that has become devitalized by disease or decay. I have also seen the damage done by a "blade" in the hands of one not trained or at all skilled in its use. The difference is beyond description.

God m…

Be a little salt

Ever wonder why Jesus left his disciples with the idea of being 'salt on this earth'? We don't fully appreciate salt these days because we aren't as accustomed to how it was used during the times Jesus spoke those words. We often have to put ourselves into the culture where the words are being recorded in order to fully comprehend the significance of their meaning. In the days of the disciples, salt was a basic "staple" of life. It was that which acted as "preservation" for everything. It also was the main seasoning of the dishes prepared - although there were other spices, salt was a 'staple'. Perhaps we would do well to look at some of the other functions of salt in order to see what Jesus may have meant when he referred to our lives a salt-seasoning that brings out the God-flavors of the earth.

"Let me tell you why you are here. You're here to be salt-seasoning that brings out the God-flavors of this earth. If you lose your saltin…

Hey, friend me!

When we really determine to walk the pathway of a disciple, it will cost us. The pathway is not always traveled by as many of those we call "friends" as we'd like to think. Yet, when we find someone to travel with us in this journey of faith, what a blessing it is! We need each other to understand and fulfill God's calling on our lives. We each compliment the other, challenging and uplifting, learning together what is contained deep in the Word of God.

Keep me safe, O God, I've run for dear life to you. I say to God, "Be my Lord!" Without you, nothing makes sense. And these God-chosen lives all around—what splendid friends they make! (Psalm 16:1-3)

David's words ring true in the hearts of many who engage in this walk of discipleship with Christ - without you, God, absolutely nothing makes sense at all. We can attempt to make sense out of tragedy, loss, or even a success all on our own. Without God, and those he places in our lives as fellow travelers…